Composition writing can be a bane to primary school students who are unable to score well for it. If this applies to your child, they might also be tempted to write their composition as quickly as possible, just to get the task over with. As a result, they are likely to have an underdeveloped and inconsistent plot. Speeding through a composition can also make them prone to avoidable grammatical mistakes. This leads to your child losing more precious marks.
Unlike a homework assignment where your child can rewrite their composition if the above issues happen, they will not have the luxury of time to do so during an exam. So what can be done to help your child?
Here are two main struggles that students face when writing a composition, and some tips on how to overcome them!
1. Inadequate or no planning
Many students do not know how to plan out their writing. They may assume that since they can picture what they want to write in their minds, they do not need to plan it out. However, a lack of planning leads to:
An underdeveloped story due to not thinking through the finer details of the story
Going off topic in their compositions without realising it
Here are simple tips to make the planning process easier:
Break down the given title into simpler words.
Take note of key elements that need to be included in the story. (For example: If the title and theme of the composition revolves around being careless, your child will need to include instances of their story character making a mistake or being inattentive.)
After coming up with a plot, compare it against the title to see if it matches the theme and title of the composition.
2. Underdeveloped climax
Some students do not flesh out the climax of their story enough, while it is meant to be the most exciting part of their plot. It is also the most important part of the story! This is why an underdeveloped climax can lead to:
A massive drop in both content and language marks
The risk of going off-topic if key actions, sensory detail or thought processes are not sufficiently developed
Here are some simple tips to write a better climax:
Stop rushing! Slow down and imagine the story unfolding as if in slow-motion.
Use literary devices to spice up the story. Instead of saying “I was nervous,” say: “My heart skipped a beat and I felt my throat grow as dry as sandpaper.”
A helpful tip from one of our TWC teachers is to get students to imagine that they are a director of a movie. What instructions would they give to an actor to create the perfect scene? Get them to think exactly how they want the actor to act in that scene. This will help students write vivid and descriptive stories.
In summary, this is the most exciting part of your story, don’t breeze through it by writing the bare minimum!
Other helpful tips
One good habit for your child to develop is journal writing. This is a weekly task we encourage our students to engage in as part of our regular programmes. Journal writing can:
Help your child gain a better perspective of writing, so they will not find it such a struggle when writing compositions for school.
Provide your child with writing prompts to get them used to writing with a theme.
Introduce them to different genres of books so they can be exposed to different writing styles and voices.
Check their work
It is important for your child to be instilled with the habit of checking their work when it is done. Check out our previous article for helpful tips!
Read read, read!
Don’t underestimate the importance of reading! Reading familiarises your child with how to write a smooth sentence. It can expose them to creative plots and expand their vocabulary too. Fiction books shine in their use of imagery and literary devices, which can be fun and insightful to read. This can help them realise the joys of crafting literary devices, because this is where they can inject their own personality into their writing.
Encourage your child to explore a variety of genres, not just limited to popular book series. To cultivate a love of reading in your child, here are some tips from our previous article.
We hope you have found this article useful! If your child is struggling with writing compositions, let TWC lend them a helping hand. Our effective curriculum will instil writing techniques and strategies to read and write well. Your child’s passionate and dedicated teachers will also strive to cultivate a genuine love for the English language. Speak with us to find out more.
Eidens, Alexandra. “9 Easy Ways to Improve Your Child's Creative Writing Skills.” Safe Search Kids, December 21, 2022. https://www.safesearchkids.com/9-easy-ways-to-improve-your-childs-creative-writing-skills/.
“Writing Tips for Students.” Writing Tips for Students - Purdue OWL® - Purdue University. Accessed March 7, 2023. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/teacher_and_tutor_resources/writing_in_the_engineering_classroom/writing_tips_for_students.html.